Australia, as a diverse and multicultural society, has a rich history of diasporic media production, particularly via public broadcasters the ABC and SBS.
In the case of the SBS, it is outline in its charter that ‘the principal function of SBS is to provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians and, in doing so, reflect Australia’s multicultural society.’ (SBS 2011) Bollywood Star, which aired earlier this year, is an example of diasporic television which aimed to discover Aussie-Indian talent locally to ultimately star in a Bollywood film. Interestingly, one of the show’s judges identifies Bollywood as ‘something that’s pretty Australian now’, (Molitorisz 2012) likening it to yoga and meditation as an Australian subculture and declaring it as ‘as Australian as Home and Away or Bondi Beach’ (Molitorisz 2012).
This example of exilic narrowcasting helps to ‘negotiate between’ (Naficy 2003, pp. 52-53) the two relevant communities and forms as it bridges the gap with traditional Indian “Bollywood culture” and contemporary reality television culture, which is a predominantly Western concept.
Futhermore, the ABC produces The Marngrook Footy Show, a primarily Indigenous Australian-focused program which serves as ethnic television, defined as programs produced ‘by long-established indigenous minorities’ (Naficy 2003, p. 51).
The absence of such programs on commercial, free-to-air television in Australia indicates the limited appeal of such diasporic media to the broad Australian public (hence the term “narrowcasting”) and the importance of not-for-profit media broadcasters in the production such media to service an increasingly multicultural society, with a multitude of diasporic communities.
Molitorisz, S 2012, ‘Hooray for Bollywood’, The Age, 28 May, retrieved 27 August, <http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/hooray-for-bollywood-20120525-1z8lu.html>.
Naficy, H 2003, ‘Narrowcasting in diaspora: Middle Eastern television in Los Angeles’, in KH Karim (ed.), The media of diaspora, Routledge, London, pp. 51-62.
SBS 2011, ‘SBS charter’, retrieved 27 August, <http://www.sbs.com.au/aboutus/corporate/index/id/25/h/SBS-Charter>.